5 Famous Temples in Vrindavan & Mathura (2020)
The season of winter is one of the best times of the year for travelling and pilgrimage. The cities of Mathura and Vrindavan always have a special place in the pilgrimage map of India as they are well known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna, the incarnation of one of the principal deities of Hinduism, is worshipped by millions. That makes the cities a prominent pilgrimage destination in North India.
Let’s take a walk through some of the Popular Temples in Vrindavan and Mathura.
5 Popular Temples in Vrindavan
Vrindavan, as per Hindu Mythology, was the abode of cow keepers which was a part of the Mathura province ruled by King Kans. Lord Krishna was brought up until his late teenage in Gokul and Vrindavan among other cow keepers.
Later many temples were built remarking this holy place, which is now a significant pilgrim destination.
#1 ISKCON Temple
ISKCON is one of the most significant religious organizations, devoted to Lord Krishna. Their motto is to spread the life and morals of Lord Krishna to all parts of the world. They have temples and shrines in many Indian cities, and the ISKCON temple in Vrindavan is one of the largest among them.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and his brother Lord Balrama and is also known as Shri Shri Krishna Balrama Mandir.
The temple, situated in Raman Reiti, in the heart of Vrindavan. Laudable architectural brilliance, made of white marble and the temple complex with the sculptures and artworks portraying the life of Lord Krishna.
For transit, It is close to the Vrindavan railway station and 11 km away from Mathura Railway Central.
#2 Banke Bihari Mandir
Can you imagine a temple without bells or musical instruments associated with the temple? The ringing of temple bells is one of the first things we think about temples, but in Banke Bihari Mandir of Vrindavan, things are different.
You can’t find any bells or musical instruments here in the temple because the belief is that Lord Krishna resides here as a child and doesn’t approve of loud sounds and noises.
The temple is an absolute marvel of classic Rajasthani architecture and artworks.
Jhulan Yatra is one of the most auspicious and celebrated occasions here as Lord Krishna spends his leisure time as a kid in the golden swing.
#3 Shri Ranganatha Mandir
It is pretty rare to find South Indian style temples in Northern states of India. This temple is devoted to Shri Ranganatha, who is a form of Lord Vishnu.
The spectacular monumental tower resembles the Dravidian style of architecture, which is very popular in South India.
Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi are the principal deities here along with Lord Narasimha, Lord Rama with Sita and Lakshmana.
The idol rests above Adisesha or Anantha, similar to the renowned Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple of South India.
The ideal time to visit will be around March and April when the Brahmotsav celebrations begin and also the golden chariot ride of Lord Ranganatha is a special occasion.
For transit, the Vrindavan Railway Central is nearby, and Mathura Railway Station is just 9 km away.
#4 Prem Mandir
If you ask me to name some of the fascinating temples of Vrindavan, the name of Prem Mandir would be among the best ranks. The Mandir finished construction in 2001 and is known for the blend of classic and modern architecture and artworks in the temple space.
The construct of Whitish marble is full of magnificent artworks and sculptures which resemble irreproachable love and devotion towards the idol by its name.
The ideal timing to visit the temple would be during Janmashtami and Holi.
The ambience and colourful surroundings during the nighttime is a specialty of Prem Mandir. Coloured water fountains and the devotional songs in the late evenings every day is a significant highlight of Prem Mandir.
For transit, the nearby railway station is Vrindavan central, and Mathura Railway Central is 8 Kms away.
#5 Radha Raman Mandir
The Radha Raman Mandir is renowned as a prime pilgrimage destination of Vaishnava Hindus. The Radha Raman Mandir beholds a part of the most popular Saligram idols of Lord Krishna and a crown in place of Radha, who are the principal deities here.
Built around the period of the 1540s, the famous Chandan or Sandal Yatra is an auspicious occasion here.
The Shri Rama Navami, Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Balarama Poornima, etc. are some ideal times to plan a trip to Vrindavan.
For transit, the nearest railway central is 2 Kms away.
Popular Temples in Mathura
The temple city of Mathura is the capital of the Kans Kingdom where Lord Vishnu incarnated as Krishna, the eighth son of Devaki. Lord Krishna, when he moved from Vrindavan, he killed Kans in Mathura and spent a good part of his life here before he left to Dwaraka.
Most of the temples of Mathura are a sign of devotion to Lord Krishna and his legends.
#1 Shri Krishna Janmasthan Mandir Complex
According to the Hindu Mythology, Lord Krishna’s birth took place in a concealed chamber in a dungeon in Mathura. In the 6th century, a massive temple complex was constructed above the dungeon cells in Mallapura, remarking the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
Being a prominent Hindu pilgrim destination, the Mandir was destroyed several times by rulers, and it underwent continuous renovations.
The Mandir complex houses three significant temples which are the temple dedicated to Keshavadev, the Garbagriha, or the place where Lord Krishna took his birth and the Bhagavata Bhavan.
The special occasions of Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Diwali, and Holi are some of the best times to visit the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Mandir Complex at Mathura.
#2 Dwarkadhish Mandir
The Dwarakadish Mandir in Mathura is one of the earliest and magnificent constructions in the entire state of UP. According to the Hindu Mythology, this temple’s structure is a memoir of Lord Krishna leaving Mathura and moving to Dwaraka; hence he is worshipped as Dwarkadhish.
The idol of Lord Krishna is a work of shiny black marble, which is known to be the colour of his skin, resembling the rainy clouds. His ladylove, Radha, is also worshipped in the name of Radhika, whose idol, built of white marble.
Not just with the monumental structures, the temple complex is a massive abode of small temples and a giant yard in the middle—the pillars with sculptures with a striking resemblance to classic Rajasthani touch.
In July or August, the Hindola festival celebrated here. Other than that the Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Diwali, and Holi are some best times to visit this temple in Mathura.
For transit, Mathura Central is just 3.5 km away, and the nearest airport is 60 km away.
#3 The Govardhan Hill
Hindu Mythology has a lot of stories related to the adventures of Lord Krishna in his childhood. The Govardhan Hill believed to be a prime location of the battle of Lord Krishna against Indra Dev where he used the peaks of Govardhan as a shield to protect the cow keepers of Vrindavan from the wrath of Indra.
The hill of Govardhan is home to several tourist attractions and most importantly several prominent temples like Giriraj Temple, Shri Chaitanya Mandir, etc.
Just like walking around the sacred housing of the deity, the pilgrims believe in circumambulating the surface of the Govardhan Hill as they consider it as the resting place of Lord Krishna’s soul. It is known as Giro Parikrama, which involves 8 Kms of circumambulating the surface of Govardhan.
The Govardhan Puja is a special occasion where the hill of Govardhan, worshipped for fertility and rain after the festivities of Diwali.
Vrindavan, located 21 km away from the foothills of Govardhan.
#4 Rangji Mandir
Not many temples in India share multiple traditions in the rituals and spiritual practices, but the Rangji Mandir of Mathura is an exception.
From the daily rituals to all the festivities and special occasions, both the North Indian and South Indian styles of conduct are practiced. According to the legend, the temple is a sign of the complete and purest form of love and devotion of Aandal, a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu is worshipped here along with Aandal, in the form of Lord Shri Goda Rangamannar.
The massive pillar in the form of a flagpole, made of gold is a major attraction of the temple. The best time to visit the temple would be during the Holi and the special occasion of Shri Brahmotsav.
#5 Radharani Temple
Do you know the Radharani Mandir of Mathura is the only temple in the world dedicated to Devi Radha, the lady love of Lord Krishna?
Yes, the principal deity worshipped here is Radharani, located at the village of Barsana.
The village is famous for the Lathmar Holi, a tradition where the women of Barsana Village use sticks to playfully beat and chase the men who visit Barsana from Nandgaon.
The village, located in the outskirts of Mathura and for transit, private or public road transport is preferred.
A Final Word
As you know, the beauty of the temple cities of Vrindavan and Mathura cannot fit into mere words. It is a journey to be experienced physically. There are a lot of tourist attractions, street food places, and markets in these cities which will eventually provide you with a great travel experience apart from the pilgrimage.